August 2003

Using Screen Import

For best results using NYC’s Screen Import feature, paste the recipes as text rather than as HTML.  Also:



If you have errors during import of text pasted from a website, try copy-pasting the recipe into a text editor like Notepad or Ultra-Edit, then copy-paste from the text editor into NYC’s Screen Import text area. 


For multiple recipes import:



Here are some tips on touching up pasted recipes into NYC generic text format.


Notes on categories inputs:


To specify categories, simply separate them with commas between the categories.  You can continue categories onto the next line, but make sure each categories line ends with a comma and do not wrap a multi-word category from one line to the next (i.e., always end each category line with a complete category and comma).


NYC expects a categories line.  You should try to always use a categories line, using "none" if you wish to specify no categorization.  NYC will attempt to handle a missing categories line by checking if the next character encountered after the recipe title is a numeric.  If so, NYC takes this as an ingredient line and assumes no categories input.  If this character is alpha, NYC assumes the line (and those after it until the next blank line) contains categories.  Thus, if you see a lot of quantities and ingredients errantly imported as categories after an import, you can bet that you had a missing categories line in one of your generic text imports.


Notes on ingredient input:


In recipe ingredients for generic imports, you should always try to have a qty, unit, and ingredient description.   The minimal ingredient  input is the ingredient description (blank qty and unit), but for best results it is good practice to always use a non-blank qty, unit, and ingredient.


NYC will properly interpret a blank qty AND blank unit (i.e., just an ingredient description), but if you want just the qty or unit to be blank, you must use the placeholders described below.


To force NYC to leave the qty field blank, enter "0" for the qty.   For qty, you can use decimal or fraction.  If you use fractions, use this convention for compound fractions:  "1 1/4".  Never use special characters in your compound fractions (like "1+1/4"). 


To force NYC to leave the unit field blank, use "x" for the unit.   For units, you can use "clove (0.5 oz)" or similar unit to accurately specify unit size.  While "4 apples" is acceptable to NYC, "4 green apples" is not acceptable, because NYC cannot determine whether "green" is a unit or part of the ingredient description.  In such cases, use "4 x green apples" and the "x" will be interpreted as a blank unit.


To add a  preparation (e.g., "sliced", "chopped", "peeled, sliced"), add a ";" to the end of the ingredient description, then add the preparation.


To separate groups of ingredients, use an ingredient header.  An ingredient header has blank qty and unit, and for the ingredient description, use a descriptor surrounded by 4 dashes, like "-----HEADER-----", where HEADER is the header description. 


Notes on directions input:


NYC will remove single carriage returns when formatting your directions.  Use 2 carriage returns to force a blank line to appear in your directions.  Make sure not to use reserved strings like 5 @ signs, multiple dashes, "meal-master" or "mastercook" .


Notes on other additions:


After the recipe directions, you can add a yield line, contributor line, and preparation time line as shown here:


Yield:  3 servings

Contributor:  Gary Hauser

Preparation Time:  00:10


Example File (2 Recipes in NYC Generic Text Format):





mexican, meats,



1 lb hamburger

----CONDIMENTS----   (must have 4 "-" before and 4 "-" after header label)

1 cup lettuce; chopped

1/2 cup cheese; grated


Mix together. Cook. Stuff in shells. Eat hot.


Yield:  6 servings

Contributor:  Gary Hauser

Preparation Time:  00:15







1   bag (16 oz)   beans

0   x                   salt to taste


Boil them, bake them, eat them.  Then suffer.


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